The Allahabad High Court Thursday quashed the selection of over 12,000 teachers by the Uttar Pradesh government through an exam advertised in 2016 and directed the CBI to investigate another recruitment exercise begun earlier this year to fill 68,500 posts.
While the 12,460 assistant teachers were selected during the term of the Akhilesh Yadav government, the second order asking the CBI to step in is a major embarrassment for the Yogi Adityanath government.
Allegations of corruption have already stalled the filling of 68,500 posts in primary schools through the Assistant Teachers Recruitment Examination, 2018.
The exercise, which began with an advertisement on January 23, 2018, was meant to be the first major recruitment by the state's basic education department after the new the BJP came into power.
The Lucknow bench of the court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to complete the probe within six months and submit a progress report to it on November 26.
The state's Advocate General Raghvendra Singh had earlier said the UP government was not ready for a CBI inquiry, compelling the court to pass the order on its own.
Issuing directions on a bunch of writ petitions, Justice Irshad Ali directed that the officers who were part of the 2018 selection process would cooperate in the investigation and make available all the necessary documents required by the CBI.
The petitioners had made serious allegations related to this year's exam, including the charge that answer books were switched.
Justice Ali said the court is prima facie satisfied that there is material evidence to establish that the examination authorities misused their power to give undue advantage to the candidates of their choice.
In the other case, the same bench found that the 12,460 assistant teachers were selected without following the Uttar Pradesh Basic Education (Teachers) Service Rules, 1981.
The selected candidates were not given appointment letters after the court put the process on hold.
The court directed that the selection process should begin afresh in 2016 case. It should be completed within three months, it said.